From 7 March 2016, SBS will broadcast SBS Arabic24, a digital radio station dedicated to delivering in-depth reporting of the local and global issues relevant to Arabic-speaking Australians.
The station is operating on a 12 month trial, which will be reviewed next year. Content will include locally produced breakfast and drive shows, with additional content sourced from the BBC Arabic service and SBS’ own Arabic music channel SBS PopAraby.
The 2011 Census reported that 1.3% of Australians speak Arabic at home. Other than English, the other most commonly spoken languages are Mandarin (1.6%), Italian (1.4%), Cantonese (1.2%), and Greek (1.2%).
Arabic speaking Australians will have access to news and information in Arabic around the clock as part of a new SBS initiative to deliver more in depth coverage of the local and global issues relevant to Australia’s community.
On 7 March 2016, SBS will launch SBS Arabic24, a 24/7 digital radio channel and online hub delivering the latest Australian and international news, information and analysis to Arabic-speaking Australians.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS Arabic24 delivers on our commitment to provide balanced and impartial news and information to Australia’s Arabic speaking community, in order to help involve and engage them in society and as such deliver on SBS’s purpose to promote social cohesion within Australia.
“Arabic speakers are among one of Australia’s fastest growing language groups*, with a real need for a service where people can come to discuss and debate the news and issues of the day, hear global perspectives on local issues and to celebrate their culture and share their stories.”
SBS Director of Audio and Language Content (SBS Radio) Mandi Wicks said: “We have seen strong growth in our current Arabic language services, especially online and via social platforms, and we are excited to be significantly extending our offering for audiences to access where and when they want it.”
SBS Arabic24 Executive Producer Marie Myssy said: “The Arabic-speaking community in Australia is growing rapidly and the new around-the-clock service is an important resource for our community. Many new migrants are arriving in Australia from conflict zones, and are now facing the challenge of settling in Australia, but having access to a 24/7 news and information service and friendly voice in their language, will play an important role in their lives.”
SBS Arabic24 is a 12 month trial and will be reviewed in 2017.
The 24 hour service will feature Australian and international programs including the locally produced and hosted Breakfast and Drive programs and music from the existing SBS PopAraby service, and content from the BBC World Service’s highly respected BBC Arabic service.